Festival to look at progressive faith and a new reformation

Festival to look at progressive faith and a new reformation

On 14th October Pitt Street Uniting Church will host another stimulating and enriching event exploring theology and ethics, making sense of our faith and making connections with world around us.  As part of the Faith Future’s Festival, this year’s visiting lecturer in progressive Christianity will be Rev Dr Hal Taussig.

Hal is a pastor and a professor. The New Testament theologian is also a United Methodist minister working in a congregation in Philadelphia, where Hal has helped to bring a dying church back to life.

Pitt Street minister, Rev. Margaret Mayman, says that Hal’s latest book, A New New Testament has done nothing short of enthusing theological souls.

“Looking at early Christian documents that were not included in the New Testament, this material provides new lenses through which we may experience the gospel of Jesus Christ,” says Rev. Mayman.

Rev. Mayman describes the book as a resource that assists in the journey to be closer to God, as well as help grow character and spirit.

“It helps us understand the many different visions and experiences that eventually formed emergent Christianity.

“It empowers us to deepen our relationships with the existing New Testament and makes Christianity come alive for people seeking a more spirited way in the world,” explains Rev. Mayman.

This year’s festival will not just be talking heads. The programme will include art and music. Workshops will address critical issues of ecological justice and engaging with the growing number of Australians who identify as ‘spiritual but not religious.’

The Festival will open on Friday evening with wine, cheese and music before Hal Saunders lecture on A New Reformation: Progressive Christianity at the grassroots.

Rev. Mayman says that Reformation 500 years ago challenged “tired dogmas and life-sapping Christian practices” a new Reformation is emerging.

“People are embracing the spiritual, communal and justice-seeking dimensions of Christianity.

“The Faith Futures Festival will resource and energise this project for individuals and or local congregations,” says Rev Mayman.

Drawing the words of Christian pastor and activist Brian McLaren, Rev. Mayman says we are indeed moving from ‘organised religion to organising religion’, ensuring it is organised for the common good.

Pitt Street has a tradition of hosting outstanding lecturers who present fresh insights in understanding Christian faith in the light of contemporary scholarship. Previous speakers have included such luminaries as Robin Meyers, John Dominic Crossan and John Shelby Spong. We are excited to continue and strengthen this aspect of our mission through the 2017 Faith Futures Festival.

Registration information is available here.


Warren Talbot is the Interim Office Secretary Pitt Street Uniting Church.


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